Young mulberry tree issue -- copper deficient and solutions?

Hello all,

I’ve just started on my journey of planting fruit trees and berry bushes this year so I’m a newbie. I planted a bare root Illinois Everbearing Mulberry tree this year (end of winter). I’m having an issue that I believe to be due to copper deficiency–which I’ve self-diagnosed from perusing many pictures on the internet of copper deficient mulberry tree leaves. Basically, all of the leaves (old and new) all end up curling up at the sides, looking like a boat. Also, on the edges of the leaves, they look a little charred/burned.



The soil I planted it in is pretty sterile as I live in a high desert. Having done a soil test beforehand, I knew the soil was deficient in most things, but I added a thick layer of organic compost on the top as well as an organic mulch and hoped that would be enough to sustain it for the season. The other bare root fruit trees I planted (3 European plums and 1 nectarine) are all thriving so far with this same treatment. Admittedly, I didn’t add any mycorrhizae to the mulberry tree or nectarine as I simply forgot to. :frowning:
I don’t know how much longer the mulberry tree will survive as most of its buds have all popped now, and I think if this round of leaves die, then the plant will be a goner.

Although I think it’s a copper deficiency issue, I have no real idea how to solve it. I read something about adding copper sulfate, but I’m not sure if that would just kill such a young tree? And would it go directly on the tree or into the soil around it? Does anyone have any recommendations of products and their applications that I could try? Do you think it might be a separate issue?

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Is the soil pH around 6.5? Alkaline soil will cause copper deficiency in the tree too because it’s less available to the roots. You could give it a water soluble fertilizer with copper in it to help a bit.

Can you take a picture of the whole tree? Do you have the tree planted in the organic layer? Or below it in the soil?